Makers Marks: Capturing, Preserving, and Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking
1.1. Aims and Objectives
1.2. Contribution to Knowledge
2. Recording and Isolating the Sounds of Studio Glassmaking
2.1. Observation Day
2.2. Recording Session
2.3. Cleaning and Constructing the Digital Sound Files
The challenge for him was when environmental sound obscured the target sound in the same way that an object might obscure a portion of another object in an image. In these cases, he had to add in the grains of sound that were obscured or missing, in order to achieve a full construction of the isolated source sound. He explained that his process tries to ‘unmask’ the sound objects.It’s a very similar process to what happens in vision. If you think about the virtual processes which try to model how we perceive the world visually … the software analyzing a photo must be able to distinguish which edges of an object belong to the same object even if two objects are standing in a line or something is masking [the edge]. Basically it’s a masking effect and the same phenomena occurs in our auditory perception. That we hear so many different noises but we are able to separate them into individual streams.
3. Developing Raw Sound Material
4. Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking through Digital Technologies
5. Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking through Glass Art Objects
5.1. “Sounding Glass”: A Literal Approach to Embed the Sounds into Glass through Engineering
5.1.1. Making the Glass for “Sounding Glass”
5.1.2. Designing the Sound Touch Points for “Sounding Glass”
5.1.3. Making “Sounding Glass” Sound
5.2. “Glass in Translation”: Abstractly Embedding the Sounds and Audio Engineering into the Glass
5.2.1. Describing New Virtual Instrument Sounds
He had used several of the source sounds recorded from the glassmaking to create his new virtual instrument, which he titled “Makers Whirlpool”. The composer and sound designers provided no other explanation to the lead designer and no other discussion of the new sounds took place. The lead designer spent time listening to each sound with headphones when she had the written descriptions to accompany them. Then, using the composer’s and sound designers’ written descriptions like the one above, along with her own experience listening to the new sounds, the visual designer created sketches for new glass pieces (Figure 14). She took these drawings, along with the words and sounds, to the glass technicians/artist team. Together, they listened to the audio files, discussed the written words as well as the sounds they were hearing, and debated how to visualize each in glass. Then they proposed and considered various techniques and approaches for realizing the sketches in glass, producing a plan for each piece before the studio work began. For each of the three sounds, they made two attempts in glass. Together these six pieces along with the three sounds comprise “Glass in Translation” (Figure 13). The glass pieces have the same titles as what the composer and sound designers offered.Funnel or cone shape, wide base … perfectly round, perhaps slightly distorted or static-y in texture, but solid and strong. Comes up to a hollow and thin vertical pipe shape on top, clean and free of distortion/static. The color also moves from dark at the base to light on top. Dark blue/green on up to something more transparent and light. A small sweeping gesture of color runs through for one moment in the middle … not parallel nor perpendicular, but at an angle, as if being sucked towards the top but in a circular motion … almost like a reverse whirlpool or black hole.
5.2.2. Challenges and Team Responses
The lack of a definitive shape was the most puzzling to work out technically. After listening to the sound and reading the composer’s description, the lead designer’s immediate response was to associate with the words “roiling”, “patterns in boiling”, and “bubbles from boiling”. She tried to explain this and her sketch (Figure 14a) to the glass technicians assisting her. She asked for creative input on how to trap air within the piece. The lead glass technician suggested using a reaction between bicarbonate soda and the hot glass by sprinkling the bicarbonate soda over the piece to create bubbles as they pulled and twisted the material into a sculpture (Figure 15).a very heavy looking sound. Despite its weight though, it doesn’t have any snapping quality, telling me that [it] is, again, rather smooth than sharp. The color of this one is a transparent, dark grey.
6. In Exhibition
Conflicts of Interest
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In this paper, “audio engineer” and “sound designer” to identify specific team members are used interchangeably as some people held dual roles during the project or certain tasks required both expertise from the same person.
“Digital media” includes film, television, animation, video games, mobile apps, etc.
“Sounding Glass” was exhibited three times for the local Edinburgh community in 2016: (1) as part of the Contemporary Glass Society’s “Time to Share” workshop at the North Lands Creative Glass Conference hosted at Edinburgh College of Art in September, (2) with the Makers Marks open studio exhibition during the Edinburgh College of Art October Open Days, and (3) in November at Summerhall in a joint networking/exhibition/public engagement event with Edinburgh Hacklab and ASCUS Art & Science.
“Glass in Translation” was exhibited three times for the Edinburgh community for public engagement with engineering: (1) as part of the studio showing for the Edinburgh College of Art Open Days in October 2016, (2) in exhibition for the Summerhall networking event with Hacklab and ASCUS Art & Science in November 2016, and (3) in the National Museum of Scotland for the 2017 Research Through Design Conference.
Discussion among the team members confirmed this after the project.
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Naas, L.; Faleris, D. Makers Marks: Capturing, Preserving, and Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking. Arts 2019, 8, 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8010019
Naas L, Faleris D. Makers Marks: Capturing, Preserving, and Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking. Arts. 2019; 8(1):19. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8010019Chicago/Turabian Style
Naas, Lisa, and David Faleris. 2019. "Makers Marks: Capturing, Preserving, and Sharing the Sounds of Glassmaking" Arts 8, no. 1: 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8010019